Last month ICS staff and volunteers and partners attended practical field training in seabird GPS tagging and data collection. Designed to enhance conservation outcomes for Seychelles’ important bird species, the data is already yielding results.
The ICS Project was led by seabird expert Chris Feare and Christine Larose, who conducted training on the inner granitic island of Aride, an area of global significance for bird conservation, and home to the largest colonies of breeding seabirds in Seychelles.
As part of the Seabird Conservation Monitoring and Management Project realised under the GOS-UNDP-GEF Outer Islands Project (OIP), and implemented by Island Conservation Society (ICS), the recent training gave staff and volunteers the chance to practise their new skills with Brown Noddys (Anous stolidus). The training also afforded an opportunity to observe these and other species including Sooty Terns, Roseate Terns, White Terns, Lesser Noddys, White-tailed Tropicbirds and Wedge-tailed and Tropical Shearwaters, as well as roosting Frigatebirds.
This training was designed to minimise handling and disturbance to the birds. Participants were able to complete the entire procedure in under five minutes, and to observe the birds returning very quickly to their normal incubating behaviour.
Whilst Aride Island was chosen to conduct the course due to its accessibility, the skills learned will now be shared and soon in use on the other outer islands, namely Desroches, Poivre, Alphonse and Farquhar groups, all of which are home to large and globally important seabird colonies.